St. Eustatius Expedition 2017 (April 9th to May 2nd, 2017)

Leaving the Port of Curacao on April 9th, 2017, Chapman Expeditions sails northeast bound for St. Eustatius (Statia), the Golden Rock of the Caribbean. Once there, aided by the Curasub, the R/V Chapman & Substation Curacao Teams will be facilitating important marine discoveries & biodiversity mapping in cooperation with their partners.

Joing the Expedition will be leading Marine Biologists & Scientists from the Smithsonian DROP Team, the University of Washington/Burke Museum and Sirenas.  

The Caribbean's Hidden Treasure

The locals refer to this 11.8 square-mile island in the Dutch Caribbean chain as Statia. Though small, the island reveals a surprisingly rich past to travelers. During the 1700s, Statia's capital, Oranjestad, was a trading hub for slaves, sugar, cotton and commodities from Europe and the Far East. At its peak, the island's population reached 18,000, and Oranjestad was perhaps the richest port in all the region. However, in 1776 the government brought the wrath of England upon the tiny nation after recognizing the newly independent United States by firing an 11-gun salute to a passing warship. The decline began, and today the sleepy island has approximately 4,000 inhabitants. 

Summary of Smithsonian's DROP Research in St. Eustatius, April 2017 - by Carole Baldwin, Smithsonian

Using the Curasub, the DROP team made five dives off the west coast of Statia, recorded more than 2000 visual observations of fishes and their depths of occurrence, and collected more than 350 samples of deep-reef fishes and invertebrates. Highlights from this trip are remarkable—at least eight species of fishes that are new to science and have yet to be formally described! 

Follow along via Twitter - #statiaexpedition2017